One: Museum Mile from the Guggenheim to the Frick Collection
This tour covers many of the famous museums on the city's Upper East
Side, near Central
The Guggenheim is located at Fifth Avenue and 88th Street. Take the
number 4, 5 or 6 train to 86th Street. Upon exiting the train, walk
west on 86th Street to Central
Park. Turn right, walking north, parallel to the park and
the Museum will be on the right.
Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this mammoth spiral
structure inspires as much debate as the art it houses. The museum
permanently displays works by Chagall, Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Van
Gogh and many others. The
Guggenheim also mounts temporary shows.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Upon leaving the Guggenheim, cross Fifth Avenue and turn left. Walk
south, parallel to Central
Park for several blocks. As you walk, you will see some of
New York's poshest apartment buildings facing the park along Fifth
Built in 1870, the vast Metropolitan Museum of Art houses numerous
collections that rank among the finest in the world. Tours and talks
are available. Popular exhibits include the Egyptian Collection and
the Temple of Dendur, European Paintings and the Medieval Art Room.
Exit the Met and cross Fifth Avenue. Turn left on 82nd Street and
walk to Madison Avenue. Cross Madison Avenue and turn right. Walk
south on Madison until you reach 75th Street. The Whitney Museum of
American Art is located at 75th and Madison. There is a small
permanent exhibit, but the focus is on temporary shows.
Exit the Whitney and cross Madison Avenue. Turn right on 74th Street
and walk west towards Fifth Avenue. Turn left on Fifth Avenue. The
Frick Collection is located on Fifth Avenue at 70th Street.
The Frick Collection building impresses as much as its art
collection. Once the private mansion of steel magnate Henry Clay
Frick, it reminds New Yorkers of the city's opulent past. Its
collection includes masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer and El Greco.
Two: The East Village, Veniero's Pasticceria to Tompkins Square Park
Plus Eclectic Shopping and Dining Offerings In Between
This tour weaves itself through the East Village, south from
Veniero's Pasticceria on 11th Street and First Avenue to Tompkins
On 11th Street and 1st Avenue is Veniero's Pasticceria, established
in 1894. An array of sweet treats is offered, from strawberry
millefoglie to chocolate covered cannoli.
A bit west, on the same side of the street, is Cinema Classics. This
small complex contains a cool cafe, an underground video store and a
movie theater that screens old and new classics.
11th Street Shops
As you move westward, eclectic shops pepper 11th Street. Standouts
include the fashionable Min-K,
upscale, bargain rich Tokyo
Joe and the hip and sophisticated Guava.
Looping left and southward onto Second Avenue lies trendy Urban
Outfitters, supplying contemporary, club-kid flavored clothing,
goofy books and shiny new kitsch to the world.
Before turning left and eastward onto 10th Street, cross the street
to behold a marvel, Second
Avenue Deli, a bonanza of Jewish delicacies.
Theater for a New City Foundation
Founded in 1970, The Theater for a New City Foundation is a
sprawling complex that appears perpetually under construction. It
presents 30 to 40 plays a year by new artists and playwrights, with
tickets at a bargain $5 to $10.
Enter 9th Street westward and see shop after shop, most of which do
not open before 2pm. Check out witchcraft, candles, incense, books,
music and magic at Enchantments.
Or, if beautiful handicrafts are more your speed, stop by Clayworks
St. Marks Place
Walk southward two blocks to 7th Street and turn left (eastward).
This street has exploded with alternative clothing shops in recent
years. Now, head northward to the carnival atmosphere of St. Marks
Place and turn eastward. If you are hungry, stop by the always fun Yaffa
Café. At the end of this lively street is the respite of Tompkins
Three: The Downtown Park to Park to Park Tour, from Tompkins Square
to Washington Square
Accessible by the L Train at 14th Street and 1st Avenue, Tompkins
Square Park begins where St. Marks Place ends. Here is a vital place
that is bound by 10th Street to the north, 7th Street to the south,
Avenue B to the east and Avenue A to the west.
This urbane park embodies its East Village neighborhood, a vigorous
mix of peoples within the larger melting pot of New York City. In
August 1988, the Tompkins Square Riot was a result of the City's
repeated attempts to clear the park of homeless people and empty
nearby buildings of squatters. Shades of its tense past remain, but
it is now predominantly a place where the neighborhood's tenants
relax. There are playgrounds, a dog run, and even grass to hang out
Head westward on 8th Street, taking in the numerous shops and tiny
restaurants at your leisure. Walk all the way to Fifth Avenue, turn
southward and there's the
Washington Square arch designed by Stanford White.
To the north, Washington Square Park is bound by Waverly Place,
southward by West 4th Street, eastward by University Place and
westward by MacDougal Street. It is accessible by the A, B, C, D, E,
F and Q trains at the West 4th Street and Sixth Avenue station; by
the N and the R trains at the 8th Street and Broadway station and by
the 4, 5 and 6 trains at the Astor Place station. Surrounded by New
York University buildings, it is heavily populated with students.
The land for Washington Square Park was purchased by New York City
in 1827 and the neighborhood rapidly grew. A row of historic houses
survives on the park's north side. During summer, everybody hangs
out on the inner steps of the park's fountain. Numerous street
performers also use the park as their headquarters.